From Kristallnacht to Watergate

Memoirs of a Newspaperman by Harry Rosenfeld

“This is a great American story—From Kristallnacht to Watergate, the inspiring saga of Harry Rosenfeld, arriving as a refugee and rising to the inner circle of journalists who uncovered the greatest scandal in the history of the Presidency. Harry tells it all with wit and panache, with a side order of knishes.”
—Tom Brokaw

“A terrific memoir by one of the great newspapermen of the era. Harry Rosenfeld was one of the key editors on Watergate. As a reader will see here, he is probing, open-minded, dogged and unsparing of everyone including himself. Not everyone will agree with all the details, but this is real history, illuminating and told honestly with a deep sense of the moral obligations of the press.”
—Bob Woodward, coauthor of All the President's Men

“Rarely has a newspaperman‘s personality and experience intersected so perfectly with his time—and then been so evocatively expressed in a memoir. Harry Rosenfeld‘s American journey tells a great and moving tale.”
—Carl Bernstein, coauthor of All the President's Men
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“A great American story... [an] inspiring saga.”
—Tom Brokaw


“A terrific memoir by one of the great newspapermen of the era.”
—Bob Woodward


“A great and moving tale.”
—Carl Bernstein


“What an American journey! Harry Rosenfeld rises from a nine-year-old Jewish refugee kid...to become a pivotal Washington Post editor in charge of the Watergate story and overseeing Woodward and Bernstein...His story is America‘s story in the last half century.”
—Joseph E. Persico, author of Roosevelt‘s Centurions: FDR and the Commanders He Led to Victory in World War II


In this powerful memoir, Harry Rosenfeld describes his years as an editor at The New York Herald Tribune and The Washington Post, two of the greatest American newspapers in the second half of the turbulent twentieth century. After playing key roles at the Herald Tribune as it battled fiercely for its survival, he joined the Post under the leadership of Ben Bradlee and Katharine Graham as they were building the paper’s national reputation.

As the Post’s Metropolitan editor, Rosenfeld managed Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as they broke the Watergate story, overseeing the paper’s standard-setting coverage that eventually earned it the Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service. In describing his complicated relationship with Bradlee and offering an insider’s perspective on the unlikely partnership of Woodward and Bernstein, Rosenfeld depicts the tensions and challenges, triumphs and setbacks that accompanied the Post’s key role in Watergate, the most potent political scandal in America’s history.

Rosenfeld also tells the gripping story of growing up in Hitler’s Berlin. He saw his father taken away by the Gestapo in the middle of the night, and on Kristallnacht, the prelude to the Holocaust, he witnessed the burning of his synagogue and walked through streets littered with the shattered glass of Jewish businesses. After his family found refuge in America, his childhood experiences stayed with him and ultimately influenced his decision to make journalism his life’s work.

At a time when newspapers and other media are under financial pressure to cut back on investigative reporting, From Kristallnacht to Watergate reminds us why journalism matters, and why good journalism is essential to our democracy.